A tamga or tamgha "stamp, seal" (Mongolian: tamag, Turkish: damga) is an abstract seal or stamp used by Eastern Eurasian nomadic peoples and by cultures influenced by them. The tamga was normally the emblem of a particular tribe, clan or family. They were common among the Mongols, Scythians, Sarmatians, Bulgars, Alans and all Turkic peoples, including Khazars and Uyghurs. Neighboring sedentary people sometimes adopted tamga-like symbols; for example, the stylized trident tamga, or seal were used by various peoples of Eastern Europe and Asia: Kushan Empire, Bulgarians, the Dulo clan, the Rus', Khazars, Kipchaks, Tatars, Tatars, Lithuanians and Poles. Archaeologists prize tamgas as a first-rate source for the study of present and extinct cultures.
The Tamga in Polish heraldry
Polish heraldry includes the extensive use of horseshoes, arrows, Maltese crosses, scythes, stars and crescents as well as many purely geometrical shapes for which a separate set of heraldic terms was invented. It has been suggested that originally all Polish coats of arms were based on such abstract geometrical shapes, but most were gradually "rationalized" into horseshoes, arrows and so on. If this hypothesis is correct, it suggests in turn that Polish heraldry, also unlike Western European heraldry, may be at least partly derived from tamgas. However, the evidence about the origins of the system is scanty, and this hypothesis has been criticized as being part of the Polish noble tradition of romanticizing their supposed Sarmatian ancestry. On this matter, research and controversy continue.
As can be seen from some examples of these coats of arms in their earliest known forms (Table I) there is a striking resemblance to some magical sigils from medieval and later grimoires (textbooks of magic. In later times under the influence of the West European heraldry, the elements of the coats of arms were convetionalized and represented as realistic objects such as stars, swords, arrows horse shoes etc. but it is still possible to reconstruct the original forms of these signs.
A distinctive feature of Polish heraldry is that one arms could have been used by dozens and in some cases by hundreds of families, all of which were believed to be related to one another though the exact genealogical links were so remote that they were no longer remembered. In fact they preceded the formation of family names. On the other hand, families of the same name may have used different arms which was the sign that they were not related and having the same name was just a coincidence.
There are two main theories concerning the origin of these typically Polish coats of arms. Both of them are very interesting and meaningful from the occult point of view, though the first one is considered historically incorrect. They are shortly as follows:
1) The runic theory: it was developed by Prof. Piekosiński at the end of the past century. He believed that the heraldic signs evolved from the Scandinavian runes brought to Poland by the Viking invaders who later settled in this country and became the noble class. Several books of his expounded a very elaborate system showing the way in which the coats of arms were generated from runic letters claiming for instance, that the crosses were added after adopting-the Christian religion as a sign of „sanctifying” the symbols.
2) The Sarmatian theory: ‘This is a current theory saying that the coats of arms of Polish nobility developed from magical characters of the Sarmatians which were called „tamgas”. According to tradition Polish nobility were the descendants of the ancient Sarmatians, and in fact Poland was often called Sarmatia or Sauromatia. In the 19th century this traditional belief was regarded as a myth, but now it is held to be based on truth. The tamgas were magical signs the exact purpose of which is not known. They were found on various objects of everyday use, on weapons, jewellery, etc. and were brought to Europe by the Sarmatians in the early centuries A.D, from their homeland on the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea where they bordered with the Persian Empire the land of the Magi. It is easy to see the similarity of the tamgas and the coats of arms of Polish nobility (Table II).
Another interesting and magically significant feature of Polish heraldry is that each coat of arms has a special word associated with it. This word is known as „zawolaniel” which means „a call” or „a cry” and very often its meaning and etymology is not known.
So having a magical character (coat of arms) and a word of power („zawolanie”), it seems possible to apply traditional magical techniques in order to get in contact with the „genius” of the family or its collective unconscious. As every individual has his Holy Guardian Angel similarly every family may be said to have its „Holy Guardian Archangel”, which may be contacted in this way.
These heraldic signs may also be looked upon from a different angle. They may be considered to be sigils which used to express some kind of a desire when they were created as the emblem of the family and later the desire itself was forgotten on the conscious level activating the unconscious level.
Tamgi from the book Sarmaci (Sarmats) – by prof. Tadeusz Sulimirski
Tamgas on objects and weapons
Tamgas and coats of arms
Tamgas on stone
Tamgas and runes on buckles
More interesting information about tamgas